As a trade association, SEMA is lead by a volunteer Board of Directors. The individuals serving on the board are doing more than just “getting involved” and leading the association. They are serving the industry and all of the businesses within it. They are providing direction and playing a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment market.
The SEMA board consists of 22 directors and two officers. Twelve directors represent manufacturers; eight represent distributors/retailers; and two represent manufacturers’ representatives. The chairman and chairman-elect slots are considered to be officer positions rather than director positions. While there are a limited number of seats on the board, the election process gives all SEMA-member companies the ability to influence the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.
In addition to having the ability to vote in the election, SEMA-member companies also have an opportunity to play a role in the process from the very beginning.
In fact, the election process begins with employees of SEMA-member companies recommending people in the industry who, in their opinion, would be good candidates to run for the SEMA board. Members are free to nominate colleagues as well as themselves. A nominating task force then reviews all recommendations. This group consists of seven individuals, who, by agreeing to sit on the task force, are ineligible to run for the board during that election year. There are no lengthy debates about any one individual as a person. Rather, the group reviews each nomination based on industry experience, knowledge of business affairs, integrity and other similar characteristics.
The nominating task force then submits its recommendations for potential candidates to the current board of directors. This process of checks and balances ensures that the final list of candidates includes only highly qualified nominees. Names and background information on the final candidates are included in election booklets, which are sent along with ballots to all SEMA members in the appropriate voting categories. According to SEMA bylaws, there are three basic voting categories: Manufacturers, Distributor/Retailer and Services, and Manufacturers’ Reps. Companies vote for board members within their respective member category.
Ballots returned before the stated deadline are collected and tabulated by an accounting firm and two board members, who supervise the procedure. The final results are announced soon after all candidates have been contacted, with new directors and officers beginning their service in July.
All board positions serve two-year terms. (The chairman-elect serves in that position for two years, then serves as chairman for the succeeding two years.) Directors may be re-elected to serve up to three consecutive two-year terms in office, and they may be re-elected to office after three consecutive terms following a minimum break in continuous service of two years.